So, Mel and Becky set off on the trip of a lifetime in September. Not able to wait for a year before seeing Mel again, we - Mel's Mum and Dad, decided to have a trip of a lifetime of our own and see Mel in Australia.
Mel had a full itinerary for us and we had 10 days of fabulous sightseeing. To all those parents who like us aged rapidly when told the news their offspring are off to travel the world, be assured Australia is THE place to be. Sydney is a warm (not just the weather) and friendly city. There are backpackers a plenty and the city is geared up for this. Sydney surpassed our expectations, the opera house and harbour bridge where as iconic in real life as they are in pictures and films. We took a trip to the Blue Mountains and admired the views. We got up close and personal with kangaroos and koalas and all other strange and wonderful creatures.
The need for sun cream cannot be stressed enough - we came unstuck, not through sitting in the sun but from walking, the cool breeze deceived us and we burnt. There are plenty of places to eat and drink, pies seem to be the fast food of choice, however we enjoyed some amazing Chinese food and sushi. Frozen yoghurts and ice cream are also plentiful and delicious.
Shopping was a must and there were plenty of shopping malls and high streets to explore. Designer stores are everywhere, there were few bargains to be had, it is an expensive place but it was nice to browse and we did find the odd deal or two. Paddys Market was great for souvenirs and the opportunity for a haggle.
Having seen and experienced Sydney, we are a little less worried and anxious than we were when the girls set off. It is possible to settle in quickly, find jobs and make good friends. Mel was a brilliant tour guide and we saw some fantastic places!